Blu-Ray has won the Hi-Def war!

News, People and Events, including Awards, Festivals and Tributes
Post Reply
User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 20451
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » May 3rd, 2006, 4:46 pm

I agree George.

As you konw (I think) I am a pretty early adopter, but the whole thing with HD vs. BR and then all the audio format upgrades has many simply scratching their heads.

And software? The only thing that appeals is "House Of Flying Daggers" and that's mainly as I've been tossing up whether to go for the region 1 or 3 current DVDs.

As someone else said (might have been Bill Hunt), where are the classics? The movies that will get folks up and out and seriously considering this? At the moment, I see HD and BR going the way of D-VHS (remember that one) unless one unification can be made.

High def formats are still at least a year or two away for me to get into, at which point I'll pick up the double dips on the current slate of titles, no doubt in better editions and with almost no bugs!

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 37
Joined: February 20th, 2006
Location: Planet Eta Vulpeculae II
Contact:

Post by Hoagiebot » May 4th, 2006, 9:19 am

Coming from a technical perspective, I find the digital rights management (DRM) schemes that the MPAA and the next generation disc format manufacturers are implementing to be even more dismaying. Unfortunately, I heard about this on an episode of WBAI's "Off The Hook" radio show some time ago, so I can't remember if it is Blu Ray or HD-DVD that is implementing this particular scheme, but I know that at least one format if not both of them will have their disc players contain a flashable memory chip that will store DRM copyright protection software in it to protect the contents of the disc from being copied. Every new disc that you buy will have the ability to "upgrade" the software on that chip on the fly everytime that disc gets loaded into the player to ensure that you will always have the latest version of their DRM software.

As innocent as it sounds, it also has horrible possibilities for abuse: The way that I understand it, the DRM software contained on these chips will have the ability to turn on and off features in your movie player's hardware, meaning that if a movie studio decides that you shouldn't have the ability to skip past their commercials or play discs from more than one region code in an all-region codes enabled player, their movie disc could have software that will load onto your player and permanantly shut those features off without you knowing it or having a say in it. In addition, there is never any garauntee that the DRM software contained on each new disc that you buy is bug proof, meaning that it could "accidentially" remove your ability to watch older discs and force you to buy newer editions of the same movie, etc. And of course you can't try to find a way around anything that they do to you either, because if you circumvent any security software that they implement, you will violate the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and actually risk criminal charges and not just your normal civil charges.

Call me paranoid, but with the MPAA's past crushing of DeCSS despite the software's harmlessness, their utter disregard for their customers' "Fair Use" rights with media that they legally purchased and own, and their already absurd DVD region encoding policy, I expect nothing but the purest form of evil spewing out of these guys and I expect that they will try to get away with whatever consumers will ignorantly let them get away with. Sadly, HD TV and the worst atrocity of all, the so called "HD Radio" that the NAB are trying to push onto our AM and FM Broadcast bands, will also have DRM schemes built into them and protected from circumvention by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. *sigh* All of this stuff is actually making me start to miss my good old trusty VCR!
There's a 68.71% chance that I'm right.
END OF LINE

[b][i][url=http://www.projectdestinystudios.com/]Project Destiny Studios™[/url]
[url=http://www.foxee.net/]Foxee.Net - Home of Foxee™ the Interactive Arctic Blue Fox![/url][/i][/b]

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 20451
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » May 6th, 2006, 7:59 pm

Someone, somewhere, will always crack it.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 37
Joined: February 20th, 2006
Location: Planet Eta Vulpeculae II
Contact:

Post by Hoagiebot » May 9th, 2006, 5:12 am

Ben wrote:Someone, somewhere, will always crack it.
I have no doubt of that, but thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act people now face huge lawsuits and possibly criminal charges if they do. A few years back "2600: The Hacker Quarterly" magazine got sued by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) after they had published the source code of an open-source program that decrypted the CSS (Content Scrambling System) encryption scheme on standard DVD's. While the MPAA accused the program, called "DeCSS," as giving pirates a tool to pirate DVD's with, the truth is that you don't need to decrypt DVD's to copy them. When you copy a DVD you make a duplicate of the entire disc, encryption scheme and all. You do need to be able to decrypt DVD's in order to PLAY them however, so the DeCSS program was witten so that people could write DVD player software programs for computer operating systems that didn't yet have DVD player software at the time, such as Linux. Despite the relatively innocent nature of the DeCSS program, the MPAA was successfully able to use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act legislation to sue 2600 Magazine and win, despite the magazine's "freedom of the press" defense.

You wouldn't think that the MPAA would have a problem with people writing software that could play DVD's on more types of machines than before because you would think that it would mean higher DVD sales for them, but that is not how corporations think today. Instead, organizations such as the MPAA, RIAA, and NAB want to be able to have complete control over what happens to their content all the way down to how the consumers who purchase it are able to use it. These organizations do this by writing their own proprietary software encryption and decoding schemes, and then they use their bought-off representatives and senators in Congress to pass legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to make it illegal for people to reverse engineer their encryption schemes and find a way around them. I'm telling you, these corporations are slick and they seem to be growing more powerful all of the time. You already have companies like Sony installing secret unremovable rootkits on your computer without your knowledge when you play any of their newer music CD's-- imagine what kind of evils they will place on their next generation of movie disc technology!

If you think I am being over cautious, just check this short article out:
www.theinquirer.net/?article=31216
If things weren't bad enough, they are only going to get worse!
There's a 68.71% chance that I'm right.
END OF LINE

[b][i][url=http://www.projectdestinystudios.com/]Project Destiny Studios™[/url]
[url=http://www.foxee.net/]Foxee.Net - Home of Foxee™ the Interactive Arctic Blue Fox![/url][/i][/b]

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2949
Joined: October 24th, 2004

Get READY TO RUMBLE! PS3/Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD...

Post by GeorgeC » May 9th, 2006, 5:01 pm

It's official...

The E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) News about PS3 is that two versions will ship --

a $499 model with a 20GB HD and a $599 model with a 60GB HD.

Only the $599 model will be HDMI-ready.


I really, really think PS3 will be the deciding factor in which next-gen format wins the super-DVD war. The question is whether the public will pay for either a hyped-up PC acting as an HD-DVD player (Toshiba's current-market models) or a very expensive mainstream gaming machine (PS3).

I'm still not convinced the mainstream public really wants a next-gen DVD format at this point in time. There are also probably not enough anxious early adopters willing to pay high prices for a format that may not even be viable in two years.

It's Beta vs. VHS all-over again, and that war delayed mainstream acceptance of video cassettes for the better part of at least 10 years.

At any rate, the next-gen hardware isn't cheap at the low-end pricing and you really, really have to have an HDTV with HDMI ports to be able to appreciate the video difference!

****************************


PS3 pricing is pretty much in line with what I thought it would be.

I think the 60GB model pricing is a bit steep, but it really isn't much more expensive than an X-Box 360 (deluxe set) will probably be after people invest in an HD-DVD add-on drive for that system.

Frankly, I'm still more inclined to get a PS3 just because of the games that will be EXCLUSIVE to that system rather than buying into an MS system which I'm frankly not too impressed with so far on both the hardware AND game title selection fronts.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2949
Joined: October 24th, 2004

Gee... Everybody's excited about Blu-Ray!

Post by GeorgeC » June 14th, 2006, 9:04 pm

Not really...

Read on from http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents :

" The first seven Blu-ray movie titles from Sony and MGM are due on 6/20 (more on that in a minute). One Blu-ray Disc player is expected in stores this month (tentatively on 6/25)... Samsung's BD-P1000 ($999). And one computer equipped with a Blu-ray ROM drive will be available this month as well (on 6/21)... Sony's VAIO VGN-AR190G laptop ($3,499, shipped with a free Blu-ray copy of House of Flying Daggers). Sony's first set-top Blu-ray Disc player, the BDP-S1 ($999) has been delayed until July, while Pioneer's BDP-HD1 (recently lowered to $1,500 from $1,800) is now set for a September debut.

You'd think that the Blu-ray Disc camp would have learned a lesson from HD-DVD's clunky format launch in April, and would be trying to really make a big splash with their debut. However, reports we're hearing from insiders... and our own first-hand experience thus far... would seem to suggest that such is not the case. Only Sony, MGM and Lionsgate have as yet announced Blu-ray Disc titles, and future announcements from MGM are likely to be impacted by the studio's move to Fox for home video distribution. Meanwhile, Fox, Disney, Paramount and Warner are all officially mum about their release plans on the format at the moment (though we expect at least Fox and Warner to announce their initial releases by the time Sony and Pioneer's players hit store shelves)."



**************************************

What a disaster...

Even if I weren't broke (like 99% of us are), the poor roll-out and basic lack of enthusiasm for the new high-def DVD formats convinces me that it's a colossal waste of money to buy either format any time soon.

Stick to regular old DVDs and DVD players.

If you HAVE to buy a high-def TV, buy a progressive scan player. Don't bother in that case buying any HD set that has higher than 720P capability since the progressive scan player doesn't go higher than 720P anyways. There are very few 1080P TV sets on-market and most of those are colossally expensive by even HDTV standards!

Again, why did the home video companies even bother to roll out HD-DVD and Blu-Ray when they basically don't care to roll out new technology at this point in time? It really has been a wasted effort on their part.

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 20451
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Re: Gee... Everybody's excited about Blu-Ray!

Post by Ben » June 15th, 2006, 12:36 pm

GeorgeC wrote:(recently lowered to $1,500 from $1,800)
Thanks for that. It will help sell more units over the $500 HD-DVD palyer for sure... :roll:

AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 7403
Joined: October 16th, 2004
Contact:

Post by James » June 15th, 2006, 3:27 pm

Why do you care? You seem to have no interest in HD anything so why not just keep your 480i equipment and let us early adopters straighten everything out before the mainstream buyers jump on the bandwagon?

AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 7403
Joined: October 16th, 2004
Contact:

Re: Gee... Everybody's excited about Blu-Ray!

Post by James » June 15th, 2006, 3:41 pm

Ben wrote:
GeorgeC wrote:(recently lowered to $1,500 from $1,800)
Thanks for that. It will help sell more units over the $500 HD-DVD palyer for sure... :roll:
To be fair, that $1,500 Pioneer has all the bells and whistles. Can't really compare it to a model with only the basics. And HD-DVD is actually even missing some of the basics! On top of some missing functionality, that $500 player has also already been through 3 firmware updates to fix or add things!

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2949
Joined: October 24th, 2004

Post by GeorgeC » June 15th, 2006, 11:41 pm

James wrote:Why do you care? You seem to have no interest in HD anything so why not just keep your 480i equipment and let us early adopters straighten everything out before the mainstream buyers jump on the bandwagon?

... Simply because there's a lot of lying and spinning of reality going around by both the software producers (home video companies) and hardware manufacturers.

The fact is that nobody except the computer industry really needs a higher-density DVD. Storage capacity is the big thing for the computer industry since they cry that they never have enough.

It's probably around 5 years too early to be even talking about high-def yet governments and companies are pushing this because of $$$$$.

There are probably a few saps who DO believe that analog bandwidth needs to be cleared for emergency services and the military. There are probably a few saps who really do believe that DVD is dead now and that they need to jump on the early adopter bandwagon and get HD-DVD or Blu-Ray as soon as possible. There probably are a few a saps who believe the leap in image quality from DVD to high-def DVD will be as great as it was from VHS to DVD (not really) and that you're really going to see more than wrinkles, creases, and age spots on actors that weren't noticeable at standard definition.

Go ahead and waste your money this year... Nobody's stopping you.

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 20451
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » June 17th, 2006, 2:04 pm

As an early adopter myself, I have to say that I am holding off, even though my retailer has the US Toshiba players and discs in for about a month now.

He's getting Blu-Ray in this week, which I'll also hold off for now.

But wait until that eventual "plays all" player comes out, and I'm there. SO far, though, there's not been a title released that has gotten me gagging for a player yet...

...but wait until that Superman set comes out... ;)

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 2949
Joined: October 24th, 2004

Post by GeorgeC » June 21st, 2006, 8:07 am

Ben,

You've gotta be reading the same stuff that I am over at The Digital Bits...

The editor is a pretty honest guy and he's saying that it's basically NOT worth your money to buy anything new for at least the next year! http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents

The launches of both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD have been totally screwed up from day one. The fact that there are only 2 players -- one for EACH format -- on the market speaks loads for the actual support there is for new media now.

(Yeah, I know Toshiba offers two models of HD-DVD player, but the upscale model is basically the same as the $499 player being sold at Best Buy....)

As bad as the problems for HD-DVD were what with seriously screwed up firmware and a LONG start-up time for the Toshiba player, it doesn't sound like things are sounding great for first-generation Blu-Ray at all. Ya know, the format that Sony's gambled PS3 on and that most of us have been led to believe is Hollywood's choice for high-def?

It sounds like the early Blu-Ray software is VERY glitchy and has next-to-no extras to offer, period. HD-DVD does sound like it's offering better picture, but neither player is offering full 1080p capability at this time.

(Blu-Ray or no Blu-Ray, it doesn't make sense to launch a new game player for $600{!!!} on the market. Most people still think of game systems as toys and are used to launches at $300 or less for a new system. Yeah, Nintendo is going to win over a LOT of parents and budget gamers with their new system this year. $250 is a lot easier on the pocket.)

It really doesn't make sense to be an early adopter.

There's that and the continuing hardware issues with both both HDTV (manufacturers can't seem to make up their minds on standards, the prices are mind-bogglingly expensive for most people) and the high-def players... It's just not a pretty picture.

DVD had its problems at launch for sure, and it took the better part of at least 2 years to work out most of the bugs.

We still don't know the full picture with either high-def format but there couldn't have been much more disastrous media product launches than these in recent years... That's for sure!

AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 7403
Joined: October 16th, 2004
Contact:

Post by James » June 21st, 2006, 10:43 am

GeorgeC wrote:It really doesn't make sense to be an early adopter.
Early adopters help pay for the cost of R&D by actually paying the extremely high early prices for new technology. Get rid of them and companies won't be able to afford to invent new technologies or they will have to keep them at unaffordably high prices.
GeorgeC wrote:There's that and the continuing hardware issues with both both HDTV (manufacturers can't seem to make up their minds on standards, the prices are mind-bogglingly expensive for most people) and the high-def players... It's just not a pretty picture.
HD sets have no major hardware issues - they've been out for years now and the technology works. Any "continuing hardware issues" come not from "manufacturers [who] can't seem to make up their minds on standards", but from Hollywood studios who keep changing the rules on copy protection standards.
GeorgeC wrote:DVD had its problems at launch for sure, and it took the better part of at least 2 years to work out most of the bugs.
And imagine if they'd just thrown in the towel instead of plowing through the problems. Imagine if people preached not to buy DVD because VHS quality is good enough and it will take years to work out the bugs.

I'm beginning to think that George is somehow related to the DVD industry or the SD display industry!
;)

The number of people who are going to be buying these players right now at these early prices is low and limited to the people who already know and are following all this - and yet will buy anyway. You're not going to convince any high-spending early adopters not to buy and regular joes aren't buying them yet anyway. And since you claim not to care I ask again: what is the point?!

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 1668
Joined: December 16th, 2004
Location: Burbank, Calif.

Post by droosan » June 26th, 2006, 11:22 am

I saw a scene from CHICKEN LITTLE on Blu-Ray (part of a 'demo disc' of upcoming titles) in a TV showroom over the weekend ..

Holy cow, there were details I don't remember seeing at the theater! :shock: .. I could see individual strands of fur on the fuzzy critters .. tiny surface scratches on Chicken Little's baseball helmet .. grains of dirt shaking off the home plate .. just insane detail ..!

But the Blu-Ray player was $999, and the 40" display was $3299 (both Samsung, in case anyone cares) .. so .. yeah. :?

Sure looked great, though! 8)

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 20451
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » June 26th, 2006, 12:28 pm

Yeah, I'm following the Bits discussion, George.

I'm holding off until there's anything solid...I'm hearing that Blu-Ray is full of disc and player glitches and that Toshiba are selling their HD players for a loss to break the market first.

I think the answer is a combi player at the end of the day, but like I say there's still no content out there yet that I feel compelled to run out and buy, and even waiting for a year means I can catch up on the inevitable double dips when special edtions of these early titles come around... ;(

Post Reply